Monday, August 22, 2016

Who Does The Houston NAACP Really Represent?

Photo credit: Burnell McCray

On Sunday, a white lives matter protest was held to counter the Black Lives Matter movement in the historic third ward. They set up shop right in front of the Headquarters of the Houston Branch of the NAACP with their the confederate flags and assault weapons. I got there extremely late, but two other Black Lives Matter: Houston organizers Tarah and Bevin did go. The notable absence in the crowd? No major representative from the NAACP. As many of you know, Houston activists have major issues with the Houston branch that range from awarding Devon Anderson for alleged work in the Black community to James Douglas proclaiming that "all lives matter." The national president tweeted about it, but the chapter sent this out today:

The email is problematic for THIS REASON:

It is nice to fundraise off of a movement that they undermine, especially when we don't see true reinvestment into communities of color, specifically the Black community. The email claims that "It is clear that our community and our values remain under attack. The NAACP remains steadfast in our belief that Black Lives do indeed matter. What yesterday’s mob failed to realize is that the NAACP has never devalued the lives of any other race in this country since our inception in 1909. What they also fail to realize is that the NAACP condemns any violence against those that are sworn to protect and serve our communities." But their actions contradict this assertion as they have remained silent on issues of social justice in terms of Jordan Baker, Sandra Bland, Alva Braziel and a host of others lost to police violence and brutality. Not only that, what about the lack of support from them on issues of systemic and institutional racism? It is very clear that they push respectability politics and profit over justice in Houston while, the criminal justice system spares police officers due punishment and make racist attempts to institute gang injunctions.

"As an organization, we are doing as much as we can to keep the fight for justice going in our community. We need YOU! We are stronger together!"

Yes, you do need us NAACP Houston, to stay relevant. ONE thing is extremely clear, we don't need you. Your claim that "The actions of the mob that stormed our NAACP headquarters yesterday show that we are needed more than ever, TODAY..." are completely off. Those white supremacists showed up on your steps because you represent civil rights past and it is illustrative of their disconnect to the real world when it comes to targeting the Black Lives Matter movement. You gave the movement one sentence in a paragraph of four sentences, when this protest was a response to said movement. If you want to raise money off of the backs of activists that you generally claim to have no association with, make sure you donate to those on the ground, doing actual work!

Who Does The Houston NAACP Really Represent?

Photo credit: Deidre Scott

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